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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Anxiety and New Order

We are reminded daily that were heading - or perhaps careening - into the New Order where former approaches to organizing and getting work done are obsolete. Change is constant and unpredictable; markets are unstable; technological innovation is explosive and on a dramatically steep gradient; hierarchies change into networks, bosses to coaches, and jobs into ever changing bundles of shifting task assignments. The established psychological contracts between employees and their organizations are evaporating. Because change is pervasive, choice is ever present and learning is at a premium. Wrenching change has become a fact of life, even though the institutions most of us work for exist in a kind of transitional, intermediate state between the older forms of bureaucratic organization and the new, cutting-edge arrangements. No matter how far along on the path to the New Order they are, organizations everywhere, buffeted by these turbulent forces, are under immense pressure to alter or dismantle deeply held patterns and cherished cultural arrangements.